I recently went to one of these networking events where you get to talk to people and then sit and listen to a speaker. The lecture was about sales and the speaker chose the rather interesting title: ‘The sales person is dead’. Not ‘dead as you know it’ or ‘must change or die’, just ‘dead’. As a sales person myself I was rather intrigued to understand why my profession is dead and was surprised to find myself agreeing with the speaker. Basically the message was that if all you did as a sales person was to present your company and product to your client without taking into account their needs you will not sell very much. Increasingly, said the speaker, companies are able to get as much information as required from your website and even request free demos before they book a meeting with you, making old fashioned ‘ me, me, me presentations’ irrelevant.
In addition to this theory, I am also reading and hearing a lot that ‘Cold calling is dead’, people are Blogging about it, Linked In groups are arguing about it, it’s everywhere. So, I took some time considering all of this and decided that actually, bad presentations and cold calling were never alive, it never worked because two things where always true:
- All clients only care about their problem and how to solve it, they simply don’t care when your company was formed or if you are a family business.
- Every selling activity needs context in order to achieve results. If you start from the middle, which calling someone directly is, without building your profile and gaining interest first, you may well waste much time and resources without much results.
So, here are a few ideas to take away from my seemingly focus less tale:
- Know your clients problems and provide a solution to them
- Become invaluable to your clients and prospects through providing them with useful, free information regularly
- Don’t banish your telephone to a dark corner, use it to follow up with your engaged clients to find out if they would like you to help them further
Find these ideas interesting? Why not consider the following next steps to improve your lead generation:
- Identify your target markets and decide on which you would like to focus on
- Identify a specific area in which you can be very useful to this segment
- Create a suitable strategy, content and design for a targeted e-mail campaign
- Send your campaign to your identified segment
- Analyse the campaign data and identify the recipients who were most engaged with your message
- Pick up the telephone to them to see what they thought of your helpful advice and whether they would like to engage with you further